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Night Paddle

NightThese days I go to work in the dark and (if I'm lucky) get out in time to enjoy the last hour of sunlight.  While driving home today I finally decide I'm going to start paddling at night.  I choose my usual route, to the light house and back.  It is a beautiful evening.  The water is perfectly still. First I paddle along close to the waterside houses.  In the darkness your other senses are heightened.  Odors from kitchens and laundry rooms mix with the smell of old wood piles and the sea.  I hear the splash and barking of a distant harbor seal.  By the light of the moon I can see the ripples on the water in front of me.  I can't tell how fast I'm going.  It feels slow then suddenly I'm closing in on a mooring buoy and then the silhouette of a old wooden fishing boat appears.  The biolumenescence is out.  My paddle stirs up white clouds.  The crest of my bow wave glows.  When I hit an especially bright spot the water sparkles.

Kayaking for me has always meant freedom.  Why should I confine myself indoors after dark when there is still plenty of time left in the day?   It sounds so scary, like what if something happens? No one will see me!  The truth is you shouldn't fool yourself into thinking that anyone will actually see you in the daylight anyway, especially if you need help.  You're always out there on your own, day or night.

Comments

Wenley

Hi Andrew, I am starting to do just the same thing. The colours of the dusk, the muffled sounds, the gleaming surface of the sea, rolling into the blackness ... What a joy!

goofyman

sounds great. paddling at night is a personal favorite.

but,... uuhhhmmm where are your lights?

Andrew

Lights? Oh yeah, I have a little twist on LED that clips onto my PFD. I also brought a flashlight. I don't turn them on though because you can see the biolumenescence better in the dark. I also met this instructor once who insisted that you should NOT have any lights on except in emergencies because it would confuse the boats or something. You should have asked me where are my flares. Ooops -- I knew I forgot something! I tried firing all three of my Skyblazer flares off on Independence Day and they all FAILED. Useless!

ah g!

um, i know you're a _pirate_, but dude, it's the LAW to have lights between sunset and sunrise. whatever, i'll let you read the info. pirate, on. http://www.boat-ed.com/wa/handbook/lights.htm

ah g!

this looks so lame-o for a traditional kayak...http://topkayaker.net/TopKayakerShop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=168&zenid=e1b9fa8671d2419567b6f70579ab2327

Andrew

Hey sailor, I think you're mistaken. For nonmotorized boats less than 23 ft all you need is to have a white light (flashlight) available to prevent collision.

JJ

I can relate. Went for a row during a full moon a couple of weeks ago out here on Van. Island. The seals came very close and two stellor sea lions passed not far away. Fantastic! My only light was my cell phone. Next time I will take a flash light in case a power boat comes my way.

JJ

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